One of the highlights of my recent camping trip to Fort Desoto Park was watching the antics of the Reddish Egret known to locals as "Big Red". The Reddish Egret is a medium size heron making its home in Central America, the Caribbean, and the gulf coast of the US and Mexico. In the US most of the estimated 1,500 nesting pair are found in Texas where it is classified as "threatened".
The reddish egret is considered one of the most active herons, and is often seen on the move. It stalks its prey visually in shallow water far more actively than other herons and egrets, frequently running energetically and using the shadow of its wings to reduce glare on the water once it is in position to spear a fish; the result is a fascinating dance. Due to its bold, rapacious yet graceful feeding behavior, author Pete Dunne nicknamed the reddish egret "the Tyrannosaurus Rex of the Flats".
Late one afternoon I made my way to the North Beach Lagoon to find Big Red and hopefully photograph him in the golden light of sunset. After some time I found him near the shore and positioned myself in the water with sun setting behind me. With only about 20 minutes till sunset, Big Red did not disappoint, putting on a real show.
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